Shared philosophy at core of RTFX marketing strategy
Niche sporting disciplines are continuing to attract increasingly lucrative sponsorships and partnerships from high end brands and major financial services and banking names across the world.
The trend has caught on in Malta – albeit on a more modest scale – as top names grasp opportunities to position their brands through carefully designed marketing strategies directed at defined client groups. Sailing is among the more elegant disciplines which have succeeded in winning partnerships from renowned brands.
Mosta-headquartered online foreign exchange broker and asset management service provider RTFX renewed its sponsorship of Lee Satariano’s J122 Artie, co-skippered by Christian Ripard, for a second year some months ago, not only after the crew lifted the Rolex Middle Sea Race trophy last year but also as they share the same philosophy. It had been nine years since a Maltese boat had been declared overall winner.
Buoyed by the major feat, Artie-RTFX participated in another Mediterranean event, the Giraglia Rolex Cup, and placed ninth in its class in early summer.
This week, the crew has put in a remarkable showing in the 2012 Rolex Middle Sea Race, maintaining the lead for a long stretch of the course and its position as a serious contender.
With the event enjoying the prestigious status of a classic, it attracts not only the participation of an eclectic mix of amateur and professional sailors, but also major sponsors and affluent audiences across global media channels.
“The sailing spirit mirrors our own business philosophy,” RTFX general manager and executive director Andrew Zarb Mizzi told The Times Business. “The team element, the changing conditions, the perseverance and the discipline are characteristics which also belong to RTFX. Investing in foreign exchange carries a risk that is higher than that involved in traditional asset classes – although nowadays one can hardly say that sovereign bond investments carry less risk. The risk associated with foreign exchange investments could earn substantially higher returns. We disclose the risk and rewards openly. We seek to express our brand for its true colours – integrity and transparency.”
RTFX has a considerable customer base in Switzerland – where it was originally founded in 2000 as Realtime Forex SA – France and Germany, among other countries. The company incorporated its headquarters in Malta in 2009 as RTFX Ltd.
Foreign exchange asset management and self-traded investment activity are still in their infancy in the local market. RTFX’s foreign exchange asset management service has made important inroads among the Maltese investor community as the company markets its offering as an additional portfolio diversification tool with potentially higher return properties to investors.
The Malta Stock Exchange, Mr Zarb Mizzi pointed out, has 80,000 accounts and a considerable proportion of the population held investments. Investors, however, were still limiting their scope to the traditional asset classes: equity, bonds and collective investment schemes.
RTFX, Mr Zarb Mizzi added, liked to differentiate itself through its innovative and unique investment proposition combined with a stringent risk management approach. At its core is proprietary software which automates trading within defined investment parameters.
“We put 12 years’ experience in the psychology of trading to avoid the pitfalls associated with human behaviour when we designed our own software,” Mr Zarb Mizzi explained. “The system is completely objective – it takes a decision at specific intervals to follow trends and keep a pulse on the daily market movements. Depending on the defined strategy, it begins to trade at preset times in the morning and systematically close all positions in the evening. We cash all positions every evening. We book all profits or losses each day. It is a model that makes this investment fully liquid, allowing our clients to withdraw their capital invested at any time. We manage risk through built-in stop losses and our software is designed to capitalise through progressive take profits.”
RTFX has delivered respectable investment returns thanks to this model, although the team believes the system could perform better in more favourable market conditions. The module performs at its best during periods of clear market direction. This year was characterised by frequent intra-day price reversals. RTFX’s strategies suffer during periods of range trading, but Mr Zarb Mizzi was keen to point out that despite the current unfavourable markets, all three strategies are positive this year. The ‘conservative’ strategy is returning 10 per cent to date.
RTFX believes that its drive to educate investors through its various online resources will attract more people locally to trade foreign exchange as an alternative investment.
“Customers generally – and Maltese clients are no different – often give too much weight to percentage returns rather than the suitability of the investment,” Mr Zarb Mizzi pointed out. “One way we strive to preserve our integrity and our clientele is by ensuring customers look at other important factors beyond profitability.
“In the near future, the Maltese could take to foreign exchange trading in the same way they did with collective investment schemes in the 1990s. Because it is so innovative and exciting, it has the potential to go viral.”